Summary: 4th of 5 messages exploring what it means to live by the power of the Holy Spirit
“Life in the Spirit”
The fifth chapter of Galatians details what a life directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit looks like.
I. Life in the Spirit
Many Christians have little knowledge or experience with the Holy Spirit. Relationship with the unseen Spirit of God sent to reside in the core of our being appears all through the New Testament. That relationship is the key to life and growth. His ministry is key to regeneration, renewing, filling, placement into the body of Christ, prayer, worship, spiritual gifting.
Paul focused on the work of the Holy Spirit related to everyday living the resurrected life.
A. It is a life of true freedom in the Spirit.
B. It is a life of competing passions. Spirit vs. Flesh
For the Christian, life is all about living by the power of the Spirit. Only through surrender to the Spirit do we have the ability to live above the desires of flesh life and successfully resist the attacks of the Devil and consistently live a fruitful life.
C. It is a life of godly behavior.
Just as we are able to discern when the flesh is in control by our behavior and attitudes, we can discern when we are living by the direction and enabling of the Spirit by our behavior.
Paul identifies Spirit led attitudes and behavior.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Paul uses a singular not plural noun. Someone suggest that this Spirit generated fruit is like an orange with the individual sections. Remember, all these Christ-like characteristics come about first by reason of conversion and second by reason of a continuing sanctification by the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus exhibited all of these characteristics throughout His ministry on earth.
Jesus is the supreme example of all of these traits.
1. Love vs. indifference
Love really regulates all behavior.
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
God requires us to love Him and people. God enables us to love Him and people with His Spirit-inspired love.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
Scripture never put a limit on love. In fact, God continually encourages us to love more and more.
2. Joy vs. gloom, negativity
Joy is that internal elation inspired by a healthy perception and realization of God’s past, present and future working of all things together for our good and His glory. God works the horrific things that from life in a fallen as well as the delightful and weaves them into a mysterious but magnificent tapestry that bring about our growth and His glory.
Joy requires a critical perception adjustment. It is like adjusting the lens to make a fussy picture clear. We need to learn to experience joy. It takes a new perspective on life. We need to learn to see things from God’s perspective. Sometimes we can see it on the other side of the difficulty. Rarely do we experience it during the difficulty. We must first trust God. We must then accept the fact that difficult trials are necessary to produce fruitful lives. We must be more focuses on the result than the process. Only then can we experience joy or consider it all joy.
3. Peace vs. anxiety, worry, chaos
God’s peace has to do with a calm contentment in spite of challenging circumstances. It referred to a sense of wellbeing, being blessed due to our relationship with God. It is the contentment that comes from the realization that God is in control and powerfully orchestrates everything for my good and His glory. It seems the same perception that inspires joy also inspires peace.
4. Long-suffering vs. short fuse
Love can be an emotion or an action. Joy and peace fall into the emotion category. The next three characteristics relate to our interaction with people. Out of all the things that challenge our walk with God, dealing with people is the most difficult. One book written for pastors was entitled “Well-intentioned Dragons”. The great philosopher “Lucy” from peanuts said, “I love the world, its people I can’t stand.” Given the number of admonitions in the New Testament to get along, it was obviously an issue for the early followers of Jesus. Paul included a whole section of indicators of a flesh-driven life.
hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy... Galatians 5:20-21
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32